Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a major impact on how well you age. And research shows that it's never too late to begin to exercise, stop smoking and to eat healthier. That's motivating for me because no matter how long I live, I really want to be able to take care of myself and not have to be dependent on others. How about you?
As I get older, I'm becoming more aware of the changes that are happening to me. In the past, if I gained a few pounds it was no big deal. I'd simply cut back on what I ate and exercise more and my weight would go back down. Now, it seems to take so much more effort. As I speak with friends my age, I find I'm not alone.Have you ever heard of sarcopenia? Probably not, but I'm sure you've seen it. It's a condition that results from the physical ravages of aging on your muscles. If a person remains fairly sedentary and doesn't do regular exercise as they get older, their muscles weaken which often impacts their balance. You've probably seen many older people who begin to walk in a slow and more shuffling manner. They become quite frail. I think of the little old lady in the rocking chair. But what you need to know is that this typical pattern of aging is largely preventable.
So, what do you need to do? Find some exercise that you can enjoy and just do it. Begin at a slow pace but be consistent. In future posts, I'll provide more details on the best kinds of exercise to do.
As you consider making this healthy lifestyle choice, just check out some of the benefits that exercise provides:
- Strengthens your heart
- Reduces body fat
- Improves balance and coordination
- Increases bone density
- Improves the quality of your sleep
- Improves your energy level
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Raises your good cholesterol (HDL)
- Helps you feel good
Does that sound good or what? Will you make the choice to begin exercising? How about making that commitment to yourself?
So, let's get moving and start exercising. And in the process...age gracefully!